May looks set to be a very busy month, with an extra Bank Holiday owing to the King’s Coronation and the start of the Hampshire half term towards the end of the month.

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of things to see and do here in the New Forest this month. Whether you are planning to visit over one of the bank holiday weekends, or are looking for a mid-week escape, take a look at what you can enjoy on a visit to the New Forest.

See Exbury Gardens awash with colour

May is one of the peak times of the year to visit Exbury Gardens. Expect to see vibrant reds, purples and pinks as the gardens’ rhododendrons and azaleas hit their peak blooms.

Explore the 200 acres of garden, take a stroll along by the Beaulieu River for some spectacular views and rest your weary legs by hopping aboard Exbury’s miniature steam railway – a highlight for visitors of all ages!

Image - Exbury Gardens

Bank holiday weekend fun

You’ll find lots of events are taking place over the bank holiday weekends. Take a look at our blog on the Early May Bank Holiday weekend for lots of ideas and inspiration for days out.

There will be a lot of events happening across the King’s Coronation weekend including concerts, garden parties and picnics. Check out our event listings and look out for our upcoming blog, which will tell you lots more about this special weekend.

Image - Picnic at Buckler's Hard

Falling on Monday 29 May, the Spring Bank Holiday sees in the start of the Hampshire half term, so expect lots of family fun. We’ll explore further into what’s on this bank holiday weekend in a future blog.

Spring fun at Beaulieu

Beaulieu is a fascinating place to visit whatever the season with the rich history of Palace House and the huge array of exhibits at the National Motor Museum.

This month, car buffs will love the Spring Autojumble (13-14 May) where you can pick up all kind of motoring spares. Ford enthusiasts will love the Simply Ford event (21 May) where all Ford owners are invited to drive into Beaulieu to park up in the museum grounds, for a day out that owners and Ford lovers will enjoy.

Image - Beaulieu Autojumble

Towards the end of the month, grab your picnic blankets and head to Beaulieu for some Outdoor Cinema (26-29 May). This spectacular open-air cinema tour has an eclectic mix of classics, musicals, big blockbusters and family favourites. All you have to do is buy a ticket, pack your picnic, camping chairs and blanket. Choose from Top Gun: Maverick, Encanto, Elvis and lots more films.

Beautiful bluebells and new arrivals

May is synonymous with bluebells. These pretty, native flowers usually adorn the woodland floors during late April-early May. Take a look at some of the best spots in the New Forest for finding bluebell woods.

Image - Bluebells

If you take a walk through the New Forest National Park this month, you may also be lucky enough to see some newly born New Forest Pony foals. A gorgeous sight to see – just make sure you keep your distance from both mum and baby.

Relax on a retreat or a spa break

Escape the stresses of modern life by joining Lime Wood for their Forest Fix (16 May). Suitable for all abilities, this event includes a mix of Forest fitness sessions, feel-good food to fill you with energy, downtime in the Herb House Spa and a ground treatment, which will leave you feeling replenished and grounded.

Look out for spa days or spa retreats at our other New Forest spa hotels and restore your inner zen.

Image - Herb House Spa at Lime Wood

May half term

The end of the month sees the start of the May half term. Plan ahead with family-fun days out at attractions such as Paultons Park and New Forest Wildlife Park and look out for ways to burn off extra steam with some of our activity centres. We’ve plenty of family days out to get you started and our May half term blog (due to be published on 4th May) will give you lots of new ideas too!